Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Fair fight" elections

How rigged is the legislative redistricting process (gerrymandering)? If they have to combine two districts, sometimes they resolve it by a solution know as a "fair fight" district.

Shouldn't "fair fights" be the rule rather than the exception?

This is why our we should have an independent redistricting commission, as the New York Public Interest Research Group and other good government groups have called for, as has the Green Party of New York State.

The NYPIRG report points out that in 2002, only 5 legislative races out of 212 were decided by a margin of 10 percent of less.

It also noted that only 25 of the 212 legislative districts (11 percent) have close enough enrollments that could allow frequent competitive elections.

Legislators, particularly in the Assembly, do not want an independent redistricting because it would take away of the biggest powers: the power to pick the voters that would pick them. Citizens are supposed to choose their representatives, not vice versa.

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